|Launched||25 October 2005|
|4,398 (April 2014[update])|
Akismet is a spam filtering service that filters spam from comments, trackbacks, and contact form messages. The filter works by combining information about spam captured on all participating sites, and then using those spam rules to block future spam. Akismet is offered by Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com.
Each time someone posts a comment to your website, Akismet checks it against all the comments in the database. If it's spam, it's deleted, if not it lands on your site. If spam gets through and a user marks it as spam, the comment is added to the database. So the pool of spam comments is constantly widening, making Akismet into something that is more effective over time. “It’s like all the kids on the playground ganging up against a bully.” says Matt, “Collectively we all have the data and the information to stop spammers, certainly before they’re able to have a big impact.”
The name, Automattic kismet (Akismet for short) was suggested by Matt's sister Charleen.
Akismet was originally developed to integrate with a plugin for WordPress. The Akismet plugin has been included by default in all WordPress builds since version 2.0 and activated in all WordPress.com-hosted blogs.
To use Akismet, it is necessary to obtain an API key. The API key is necessary in order for the site to communicate with the Akismet servers.
Development and distribution
Released under the terms of the GNU General Public License, the Akismet plugin is free software, although the code to the Akismet system itself (and the nature of the algorithm used) has not been released.
The Akismet service is free for personal use and commercial plans start at $5/month.
There are a number of competitors to Akismet, including hosted solutions Mollom and Cleantalk, and WordPress plugins such as AntiSpam Bee and WP-SpamShield Anti-Spam. In addition, image or math CAPTCHA plugins are also widely used instead of Akismet.
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